Durham Tech sees uptick in fall semester enrollment

Aug. 20, 2013 @ 05:13 PM

For the second year in a row, Durham Technical Community College has experienced an increase in its student enrollment numbers.

Enrollment climbed 9.71 percent from the 2012 fall semester and 13.13 percent from the 2011 fall semester, according to the college.

“The first day of class is always an exciting time at Durham Tech,” said DTCC President Bill Ingram in a statement. “This year, we welcome more than 5,500 students enrolled in for-credit courses to our campus.”

K. Leigh Forell, DTCC assistant dean of student development and support, said faculty and staff have spent the past few months implementing new strategies to increase enrollment.

The college has used more data-driven decision-making as of late, Forell said, which has allowed them to review the courses that are most coveted and track the rising popularity of their university transfer programs and online courses.

Her team also has reorganized their student development and support initiatives, where they’ve streamlined the enrollment process and now require students to go through a new student orientation at the beginning of enrollment. The change to orientation was piloted this summer.

DTCC is now accepting more students with bachelor’s degrees who are trying to fill prerequisites for graduate school. These students now have an adviser specifically assigned to meet their needs, Forell said, and a new policy gives them priority registration.

They are a “great population to target,” she said. “We know they’ve been successful in college before.”

More seats have been added to the university transfer programs, which allow students to catch up on general education credits before transferring to a four-year institution. Forell said the science classes, as well as English, sociology and psychology courses, have been popular.

There were 1,000 active requests on the DTCC waiting list when registration closed, she said, showing that there’s still a high enrollment demand. But now that classes have started Monday, Forell said the energy is back on campus.

“This is just a great week and the campus is just abuzz,” she said, “and new students are really excited to get started with this next step.”